Care of patients undergoing removal of an indwelling urinary catheter
Intended for healthcare professionals

Care of patients undergoing removal of an indwelling urinary catheter

Alison Bardsley Associate Professor for Non-Medical Prescribing and end-point assessment registered nursing degree, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To remind yourself of the indications for the use of urinary catheters

  • To learn the steps you should take before, during and after the removal of a catheter

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

An indwelling urinary (Foley) catheter may be used in the management of various urological conditions, such as intractable incontinence and urinary retention, or as part of treatment regimens such as chemotherapy. Although some catheters may be required for long-term use, healthcare practitioners should regularly assess whether the device is still necessary and if it can be removed. This is because urinary catheters are a highly invasive intervention and their use is associated with a range of potential complications, including healthcare-associated infection and trauma to the neck of the bladder. This article outlines the procedure for the safe removal of a urinary catheter, including the patient care and monitoring required before, during and after this procedure. It also explains the complications that are associated with catheter removal and how these can be prevented and managed.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11555

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Bardsley A (2020) Care of patients undergoing removal of an indwelling urinary catheter. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11555

Published online: 28 September 2020

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now